Taking away the pain of tax self-assessment

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The old adage ‘tax needn’t be taxing’ is all very well, but with 635 changes to tax legislation in the last five years alone, the reality is quite different for many people, particularly those trying to tackle their tax returns themselves.

To make matters more challenging, HMRC has increasing powers, applying interest and hefty penalties for underpaid taxes or missed deadlines. We can reduce the stress and worry of complying with your personal tax return obligations, while drawing in specialists from our corporate services, financial planning and investment management teams to advise on other issues that may arise. We are a rare breed, offering all these services under one roof, delivered to you locally through offices in Bristol and Cheltenham.

During our conversations with clients, we’ve learned that not everyone is clear whether they have to prepare and submit a self-assessment tax return. You should usually do this if you: 

  • Have been issued with a tax return by HMRC
  • Generate self-employed income
  • Receive income in excess of the basic rate band
  • Receive director’s pay or benefits
  • Make a claim for tax relief on pension contributions or other investments
  • Are liable for the high income child benefit charge
  • Receive UK rental income
  • Have a capital gain in excess of the annual exemption or proceeds of 4 x this amount
  • Receive foreign income
  • Do anything else that could give rise to an additional tax liability

If you are unsure of the rules or your obligations, you’re not alone. We know the whole process can be particularly onerous if you have a lot of assets, own more than one property, have international interests, multiple investments or are a business shareholder.

Our private client tax team will guide you through the self-assessment regime, offering an individually-tailored service to suit your needs. We will work with you to understand your longer term goals, for yourself and your family, and can introduce you as appropriate to other specialists who will support and advise you in the right areas.

Some of the ways in which we can help include: preparing all types of tax returns for UK and non-UK individuals, trusts, partnerships and companies; liaising with HMRC on your behalf as well as with tax advisers in other countries to provide a joined-up service; collating information from various third parties to complete your return; reviewing your personal and financial affairs to optimise your tax position in the UK and abroad. In addition, our in-house tax investigation service will help protect you from burdensome HMRC enquiries.

Ultimately, we are here to help whatever your circumstances. For further information, advice or help with your taxes, please contact:

Louise Somerset


t: 01242 506 030

e: louise.somerset@smithandwilliamson.com


 Smiths Williamson

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing. Smith & Williamson is an independently owned financial and professional services group. The firm is a leading provider of investment management, financial advisory and accountancy services to private clients, professional practices, entrepreneurs and mid-to-large corporates. The group’s c1,700 staff operate from a network of twelve offices: London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton. Smith & Williamson LLP Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International. The word partner is used to refer to a member of Smith & Williamson LLP. 143418hp